Elysian Inside: Our Interview with Jim McInnis

Here at Elysian Capital Holdings, we effectively join SMART PEOPLE, with SMART CAPITAL, to ultimately create SMART BUSINESS. Who are these SMART PEOPLE you may ask? Elysian Inside takes a look beyond the professional biographies and gives you an inside look at the HEART of Elysian Capital Holdings.

This month, we feature Jim McInnis, a Capital Partner at Elysian Capital Holdings, LLC and a Founder and Managing Partner at Elysian Management Consulting Services, LLC.

Q: You have been involved in the financial services industry for a great number of years, and significantly instrumental in developing a consultation and recruiting system which has helped so many. What is it about consulting that satisfies you?

A: I think the most interesting part of consulting work, whether it be within a company or one-on-one, is that every situation presents something unique and different. Every person is different and this makes every day different… and even though everyone seeks consultation for a variety of reasons, one thing remains the same… it is never boring. I like the fact that salespeople will call me when they are dealing with a problem, and excitedly want someone to tell them how to handle it. Part of my job, and the most gratifying for me, is to guide clients into finding answers for themselves. Nothing is more satisfying than helping my clients find those solutions on their own, because if they believe in what they are doing, they will always act upon it. If they are simply told what to do, they will neither act upon it nor follow through.

At Elysian, I am the gray-haired guy in the room who likes to brainstorm solutions, but with a balanced “other-side-of-the-coin” perspective. It’s because I’ve been doing this for a very long time. I can’t help but look at an issue from a vantage point that is affected by my experience. It’s what makes my job intriguing.

When I am coaching a client, one-on-one, I start every assignment with the exact same question: “On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your work to life balance? (A lower number indicates poor balance and a higher value reflects a strong balance.) Sometimes they answer with a number that is poor, which tells me there is a problem somewhere. There are times I will get an answer with a high number, which is good, but very rare. I will then ask them to pose the same question to their spouse or significant other to see if their answers are aligned. I urge them not to reveal their answer or direct their spouse in any way. My reasoning behind this exercise is not to be intrusive, but to see if people are placing value on their work to life balance. If you are not paying attention to this balance, a person’s work will falter. If people are happy in this balance, they will always perform better. If they are unhappy, they will not perform. I take the work to life balance very seriously as it is extremely important for everyone to have a healthy definition of what this looks like in their life.

Q: You have had many wonderful mentors during your career and in turn, you have been a mentor to many people along the way; what is the best piece of advice you have ever received?

A: I was once told when I was 12 years old,
“If it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it.”

Q: What are your interests outside of your career?

A: I really enjoy playing golf. My other passion is walking the Camino De Santiago, which is a 500-mile journey from France to Spain. I have walked it twice, alone, and I am looking forward to doing it a third time, alone. Even though I am currently coaching three people who are going to do it too, I especially enjoy walking it alone. Mainly because I savor the solitude. Each of my journeys took 34 days to complete. I walked an average of 15 miles per day, through snow, rain, mud, rocks, uphill and downhill. The solitude affords you a lot of serious thinking time. Interesting enough, prior to my first Camino, I had planned to go with two friends in August, but by April I knew I was ready and simply could not wait any longer because I felt that I had enough of the training and knew I was going to burn myself out if I waited. I was determined to forge ahead and take the journey alone. In the end, it was a great decision, because the experience changed my life and I met the most amazing people along the way. I have made so many great friendships. The value of solitude was eye-opening. No sound, no music, no phone — just you and nature. Interestingly, the one thing I never do alone is play golf. Golf is the opposite of the Camino.

Q: Do you have a quote you like to live by? What does it mean to you?

A: My Grandfather was a very interesting mentor. He had a comment that I remember fondly… “The day will come when you will be judged by what you are not expected to do.” He meant that doing things that are expected of you will not always elicit accolades; rather, it is one’s unexpected acts that will be judged and remembered.

Q: What has been your greatest challenge in life?

A: My greatest challenge has been the maintenance of balance. In the early days of my career, I worked constantly. I was on the road 24/7 and it was challenging to accomplish the work while paying attention to what else needed to be done. This is why I always ask about the work to life balance, because it was a challenge for me.

Q: What 3 things do you think about the most each day?

A: My thoughts center around family, work, and beyond that, rewards. By rewards, I do not mean money; rather, for me it is making sure the first two things are taken care of. I don’t get to play golf unless I’ve done my work. Each day, I try to figure out how to balance the rewards.

Q: What has been your most rewarding accomplishment?

A: It is rewarding to know that I have helped a pretty good number of people along the way. The fact that they have all kept in touch with me is the biggest reward; that is the best accomplishment. I have been able to recruit and help a large number of people find success and ultimately be successful. Their success has impacted others in a positive way as well. It has been a reward for me to see them succeed.

THE INNER EDGE…with Jim McInnis

1. Your favorite app…

Kindle App

2. Five words that best describe you…

I would rather you ask five other people

3. What is the best gift you have been given?

I have been granted great health

4. What is your favorite book?

“Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand

5. If you could share a meal with 4 individuals, living or dead, who would they be?

Grandfather, Ronald Regan, Margaret Thatcher, Bobby Jones

6. If you could go back in time, what year would you travel to?

1865